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Gay Choir Director At East Rutherford Parish Resigns After Priestís Comments
CBS ^ | September 15, 2011

Posted on 09/16/2011 1:18:00 PM PDT by NYer


Bob Russell

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBS 2) – He says he can’t take it anymore.

A gay choir director at a Catholic Church in New Jersey has quit his job because he says the priest is making his work environment hostile.

But does he have a case?

St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in East Rutherford is where Bob Russell has been the choir director for decades. On Thursday, however, the 55-year-old was taking boxes into the parish to pack up his belongings.

“Felt that I was put into a position that I had to resign my job because of my sexuality,” Russell told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.

Russell, who grew up Catholic, said his work environment has become hostile since a new priest took over and started strongly preaching against homosexuality.

“The sermon line was that marriage between two men is a lie,” Russell said.

The Catholic Church does not condone homosexuality, Sloan reported.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Newark, which now runs the parish, said no one will comment because the church does not discuss personnel matters.

Russell said it wasn’t the sermon, but what the priest told him in private that made him realize it was time to go.

“When I spoke to Father Joseph and I told him that I was a gay man in a domestic-partner relationship, he told me that he would eventually like a children’s choir and that I wouldn’t be a good example to lead a children’s choir,” Russell said.

Legal analysts say the church has the right to preach its beliefs because freedom of religion is protected by the Constitution.

“I believe that nobody should have to hide what they believe in,” one woman told Sloan.

But parishioners at the church said they are baffled and could care less Russell is gay.

“I think he should have stayed,” Renato Pierantoni said. “I think he’s a great guy.”


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: catholic; choir; crymeariver; gay; gaymarriage; homonaziagenda; homonazism; homopsychoagenda; homosexual; homosexualagenda; homosexualism; lackofcommonsense; rcc; religiousfreedom; religiousliberty; romancatholic; romancatholicism; samesexmarriage
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1 posted on 09/16/2011 1:18:10 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
Other parishioners said St. Joseph has traditionally been a liberal parish but is now becoming “ultraconservative” and is losing members because of that. It was run by the Franciscans, a Catholic religious order, for 99 years, but because of staffing shortages the order turned St. Joseph over to the Catholic archdiocese of Newark in July; Astarita was installed as pastor after the change.

Additional information at the following link.

Music Director Leaves Church Over Priest's Antigay Statements

2 posted on 09/16/2011 1:19:34 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

Sounds like my kind of church. If you feel uncomfy at your church you move on. I’ve left churches before because of a new minister that we didn’t like for one reason or another. What’s the big deal ya sissy?


3 posted on 09/16/2011 1:23:53 PM PDT by albie
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To: NYer
If only there was some book of divinely-revealed writings that would bring a little clarity to this dispute or, failing that, a catechism.

This teaching must have really taken Mr. Russell by surprise - where could it have possibly come from?

4 posted on 09/16/2011 1:24:04 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: NYer
“When I spoke to Father Joseph and I told him that I was a gay man in a domestic-partner relationship, he told me that he would eventually like a children’s choir and that I wouldn’t be a good example to lead a children’s choir,” Russell said.

Excellent!! The priest "gets it"!

5 posted on 09/16/2011 1:24:55 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The USSR spent itself into bankruptcy and collapsed -- and aren't we on the same path now?)
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To: NYer

Another guy who “called himself Catholic” for decades who was not?


6 posted on 09/16/2011 1:25:05 PM PDT by Ingtar (Together we go broke (from a Pookie18 post))
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To: NYer

Sounds like a better outcome than the way Donald Young “departed” the congregation of Rev Wright’s church. Has that murder been solved?


7 posted on 09/16/2011 1:27:20 PM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all......)
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To: NYer

He will have no problem with the Episcopal Church down the street.


8 posted on 09/16/2011 1:35:08 PM PDT by forgotten man (forgotten man)
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To: NYer

This man claims that he has to leave his job due to others making the workplace hostile? It is he and the rest of the homosexual agenda crowd who are making workplaces hostile! Their behavior is disgusting and immoral and they are trying to force others to accept it. They are the ones who are vile and are causing others hostilities! People need to fight back against these perverts.


9 posted on 09/16/2011 1:38:30 PM PDT by TheBigIf
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To: NYer
He cannot just be a Choir Director? No, this guy has to be a "Gay Choir Director".

What a sick bunch

10 posted on 09/16/2011 1:39:52 PM PDT by lormand (A Government who robs Peter to pay Paul, will always have the support of Paul)
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To: lormand

it was the choir director what was gay not the choir itself.

only ‘gay’ choirs I know of hail from sf.


11 posted on 09/16/2011 1:42:12 PM PDT by RitchieAprile
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To: NYer

He should have been fired as soon as they found out he was a pervert. Letting homosexuals around kids is what led to the priest abuse scandal.


12 posted on 09/16/2011 1:43:13 PM PDT by icwhatudo ("laws requiring compulsory abortion could be sustained under the constitution"-Obama official)
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To: NYer

Good for this priest. Finally, someone has a spine!


13 posted on 09/16/2011 1:49:20 PM PDT by Gerish (Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.)
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To: NYer

A priest preaching Sacred Scripture is news? what times we live in...


14 posted on 09/16/2011 1:56:56 PM PDT by famousdayandyear
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To: NYer

What could possibly go wrong with a gay choir master?


15 posted on 09/16/2011 2:29:03 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee
What could possibly go wrong with a gay choir master?

Absolutely nothing. The decision to leave was his.

16 posted on 09/16/2011 2:32:42 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
Imagine that. A priest who actually preaches what the Church teaches.

As for the "gay" choir director, it's too bad that he put his sexual practices above all else. May God help him.
17 posted on 09/16/2011 2:34:23 PM PDT by Antoninus (Take the pledge: I will not vote for Mitt Romney under any circumstances. EVER.)
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To: Antoninus
As for the "gay" choir director, it's too bad that he put his sexual practices above all else.

Exactly! He served the parish commendably for so many years but when it came to his sexuality, he chose to leave. FWIW, I know several gay catholics in partnered relationships who are drawn to worship on a regular basis. They are obviously aware of catholic teachings on the subject yet come all the same because a priest does not address the topic more directly in a homily. Once challenged, however, they run. If they are so aware of the church's position, what is it that keeps them coming, especially when they have no intention of changing their personal relationship. (this is a rhetorical question).

18 posted on 09/16/2011 2:53:12 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
But parishioners at the church said they are baffled and could care less Russell is gay.

And herein lies the problem

19 posted on 09/16/2011 3:06:40 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: NYer

“The sermon line was that marriage between two men is a lie,” Russell said.

DUH.. It is.


20 posted on 09/16/2011 3:23:55 PM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
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